New to Colorado Gardening? What You Need to Know

If you are a newcomer to our beautiful state we would like to welcome you with a little advice that may help ease you into gardening in Colorado.

The Weather: Colorado has lower levels of humidity than most states. Also, the temperature can vary vastly throughout the day. Colorado is prone to many of the problems that are associated with the continual freeze; thaw cycles that can wreak havoc on the environment. Colorado’s lack of rainfall and heavy doses of sunshine contribute to poor soil conditions that are prominent across the state.

The Soil: Rainfall plays a big part in creating rich topsoil. However, in Colorado we are lacking large amounts of rainfall. The lack of rainfall in turn creates topsoil erosion because no plants can take root to hold down the topsoil. The soil in Colorado’s Front Range is mainly clay based. The soils throughout the state are mostly basic soils with some acidic soils being found in mountainous areas. This means that gardeners will have a hard time growing acidic soil type plants.

Improving Soil: In order to improve clay soils you must add a good amount of organic matter to your soil. John Pohly, from Colorado State University recommends that for every 1000 square feet of ground you add one-half cubic yard of organic matter. When you are adding organic matter to areas of your lawn, John recommends that you add it at least 6 inches down. We recommend that you improve your soil conditions by adding organic matter prior to planting a garden. For more information on Colorado’s soil conditions you can visit http://www.colostate.edu/Depts/CoopExt/4DMG/New/colosoil.htm.

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